D’Avalos, Francesco , Italian composer, conductor, and teacher; b. Naples, April 11, 1930. He received lessons in piano from age 12 from Vincenzo Vitale, and then studied composition and orchestration with Renato Parodi at the Cons, of San Pietro a Majella in Naples (diploma with high honors, 1955). He later studied conducting with Kempen, Celibidache, and Ferrara in Siena, and also philosophy at the Univ. of Naples. After making his conducting debut with the RAI Orch. in Rome in 1964, he appeared as a guest conductor in Italy and Europe. He taught at the Bari Cons, before joining the faculty of the Cons, of San Pietro a Majella in 1979. As a composer, d’Avalos followed an avant-, later post-avant-, garde path. As a conductor, he strives to preserve the composer’s intentions even in the face of received tradition. He has won particular distinction for his performances of the Italian symphonic repertoire of the 19th and early 20th centuries. His recordings won the Grand Prix International du disque de 1’Academic Charles Cros of Paris in 1990, and the Discotheque Ideale of Paris in 1991.
MUSIC DRAMA Maria di Venosa (1992); Qumran (2000).ORCH.: Psyche and Eros, suite (1947); Music for Orch. and Piano Concertante (1948); Music for Imaginary Drama (1951); 2 syms.: No. 1 for Soprano and Orch. (1955) and No. 2 for Soprano and Orch. (1991); Studio sinfonico (1956; rev. 1982); Hymne an die Nacht (1958); Qumran (1966).CHAMBER : String Quintet (1960); Quintet for Piano and Strings (1967).VOCAL: 3Songs on Japanese Poems for Soprano and Orch. (1953); Vexttla Regis for Chorus and Orch. (1960); The River Wang for Soprano, Double String Orch., and 2 Flutes (1961); Lines for Soprano and Orch. (1963); Die stille Stadt for Soprano, String Orch., and Timpani (1995); In Morte di due nobilissimi amanti for 5 Voices and 3 Instruments (1996).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire